Few of the whippersnappers alive today realize that the United States had a defense system to deflect an enemy attack. Actually, a system when in place in 1959, was obsolete by the time it was deployed.
Witness the following museum review:
Now witness the hype:
Now remember ICBMs! In 1957, the USSR placed a 186 pound satellite (Sputnik I) on an orbital plane that could approach the US from the south, on its first orbit; all US defenses were facing north!
The two scenes represent a polarity of opinion that continues to this day.
Still, one cannot deny that the advantage of any technical advance can be viewed from two aspects. That of the realist and that of the defense contractor.
On the other hand, the technologies developed in the meantime have enriched all of mankind and offered the United States a technical edge that extended into the start of the 21st century.
Now the US has neutered its space program, which is a gift of the Bush42 administration.
All of this is but 50 years ago. The computational power represented by each SAGE system is about 8% of the average desktop!
This is our daily open thread – How may our past be described in the future? Remember the SDS (Star wars)? Food for thought!